Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Our First Valentines Day

Do you remember your first Valentines Day with your love?  

I was the ripe old age of 16 and that morning at school I was greeted with a teeny tiny box of chocolates, a tiny little bear, and one yellow rose from my boyfriend of one month.  It was the sweetest little gift and I loved it!  I was already on cloud nine but that little stinker had more up his sleeve.  When the bell rang at the end of school, we walked together to our car and there in my silver Hyundai was the biggest bear, a dozen roses, a big box of chocolates, and the sweetest note.  You bet I was over the moon that day... best boyfriend  EVER.

I can happily tell you that my boyfriend now husband still exceeds my expectations and makes my dreams come true.  We may have been together for almost half our lives, married, and run around with rug rats but that doesn't mean romance gets put on the back burner.  Coexisting doesn't produce a strong relationship.  Love is a verb; it's thoughtful and intention.   There are always new ways to learn to show love and that is what the 14 Day Romance Challenge is all about.  

The chapter Speaking His Love Language encouraged me to show my love using all the languages. I challenge you to do the same.  One act for every language.  Like Sharon does at the end of each chapter, I will give you some ideas. 

Words of Affirmation
With the comfort of our relationship I sometimes assume that he already knows how I feel about him. This is the easiest language to speak but one I sometimes forget to express.  
Telling him how handsome he looks in the morning, thank him for being a good provider after he gets home from work.  Sending him a text or email during the day letting him know you are thinking of him.  Taking post its and writing all the reasons why you love him and put it on his mirror.   

Gifts
I confess that I am the worst gift giver.  During this challenge I wanted to treat him to lunch so I packed some cash in his lunch bag.  It doesn't have to be a big gift to be special.  
Get him a book he's been wanting to read, a gift card to a food place so he can go out for lunch or a coffee.  Buy him something from his Amazon wish list.  Bring home his favorite candy or dessert.  

Quality Time
Find something your hubby likes to do and do it with him, without being distracted and without any negative comments.  
Sitting with him during sports games, news, or boy shows.  Going to the gym, going on hikes. 

Acts of Service
For me this comes natural because it is the number one way I show love.  Think of things you can do for your hubby that he would love and do them!
Coming home to clean quiet house, breakfast in bed, pack his lunch for the whole week, clean the cars, organize the garage.  

Physical Touch
I'll leave you in suspense and you'll have to get Sharon's book and read her ideas.  This love language is pretty self explanatory.

It doesn't matter if you've only been married for a year or married for 50, A 14 Day Romance Challenge  is a great book full of ideas on how to be thoughtful and intentional with your love. It reminded me that he wants to feel as important as the items on my to do list and the kids.  As much as women like to be romanced, men do too!  During this challenge I was showing him how much I cared and in return I could feel him doing the same. 

Happy Valentines Day!



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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Birthday Compromise

When it comes to celebrating birthdays we don't always see eye to eye.  I'm a huge party with all the trimmings kind of gal and my hubby is more about the experience.  We made a compromise last year and her 5th birthday was extra special for all of us thanks to him.  He opened my eyes to see the value of birthday experiences.  He gave us the best of both worlds.

 I planned a little birthday bash at home.  A few friends came after school.  No venue, candy bar, guest list, elaborate decorations.  

A Barbie theme was requested by the birthday girl and she picked every little detail out from the fabric on the dress to the cake to the decorations.

 I made the little dresses [one for Reese too].

We did our annual photo shoot. 

Cake was of course crafted in moms kitchen and she asked me to make my favorite one, the Barbie Cake [tutorial HERE].

How cute is it that she picked the Barbie that looked like her?!

They made jewelry, did a little face painting and tattoos.

Presents was the cherry on top.  It was the perfect little party.

That weekend my sister flew in, we drove into the city and took her to see Disney on Ice.

Disney never disappoints.  Even this little nugget sat through the entire thing.

What an awesome show and we ALL loved it!  We have that handsome man to thank for it.  

Last year showed me that every birthday doesn't have to be grand to be special.  Celebrating the birth of our little lady with a family adventure into the city for a show was just as memorable if not more so.  I still love parties but I'm open to making birthday's special with outings like this.

Thanks for stopping by!




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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Saving for a Car One Quarter at a Time

Hard to believe that it has almost been a year since I shared the money series.  It's a huge accomplishment for me to actually stick to something that long.  Ha!  Though we tweaked our system and paydays were not always consistent 2016 paved her foundation in finance Dave Ramsey style. 

  Even at five going on six this little lady is well on her way.  I shared with you the reasons why we give our kids an allowance.  We want them to learn firsthand the purpose of money; to give, to spend, to save.  I shared our chore system.  One quarter per chore, paychecks split into the three categories.  

The learning was plenty for the both of us!  We had to be responsible and consistent.  Yes, I said WE.  Most of her chores are contingent on my own so I had to be on top of it.  She learned that her work reflected her pay.  Continually felt the joy of giving.  She LOVED spending.  Evaluated cost of things she wanted and even questioned tithing.  There were lots of great conversations about money.  Paying for chores truly gave her an opportunity to experience money first hand.

I'm most proud that she learned the one thing I failed to in my childhood, the value of saving.  I vow to make sure these kiddos see and experience the importance of planning long term.  One chore, one quarter at a time she saved up $73 towards her future car [her minivan to be specific hehe].  What a testament to turn 16 and be able to buy her own first car with money she saved since she was five.


Every day we have a choice.  We can tell our money where to go or wonder where it went.  We can teach our kiddos about finances or hope they'll figure it out when they get older.  Choose to take action.  If you're interested in Dave Ramsey's plan you can read my reviews HERE and HEREOther posts related to finances including out own debt free story can be found by clicking the images below.  If your resolution in 2017 is to save more money this is a great place to start!
IMG_1977     12528706_10156549384485251_1926199911_o
  why       money1

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FIRST 3 Steps to Getting Organized

Before we start, lets clarify some vocabulary.  Clean VS Tidy.  Tidy means everything is in it's place, no clutter [no junk drawers].  Clean is when you or your cleaning lady get those rubber gloves on and start scrubbing down the dirt in areas of the house.
  
I love organizing and getting the satisfaction of having a neat home. After reading The Secret Magic of Tidying Up I learned oodles about myself and tidying.  I came to realize that it didn't matter what containers I used, how big or small our home was because staying organized starts with this foundation.


1. MENTALITY 
It's not just a saying, it really is true.  There is a place for everything and everything in it's place.  From now on see every item you own with the mentality that it needs its own "home".   Hair accessories, watches, shoes, kitchen items, keys, tools, batteries, every single toy your kids own down to the last Lego.  Yup EVERYTHING!  If it doesn't have a home, it doesn't belong in YOUR HOME. 

Ever wonder why you always misplace your keys, wallet, phone?  It's may be because these items have too many homes.  If you keep everything in the same place you'll always know where it is.  Give it a home and only one home. 

2.  PURGING
 Get those trash bags out because this is where every successful organizing mission starts.  What's the point in organizing items that you don't use or want?!  It's clutter!  PURGE!  Once a purge has happened then you can expand and organize. 

 BUT purging doesn't happen just once, it happens whenever things start to get a little crowded.  Like pruning flowers, our home needs pruning too.  I usually purge twice a year and especially before Christmas when our home is going to expect some new items. 

3. CREATE HABITS
THE SECRET to a tidy house is creating habits.  You may not have the habits yet in order to have a tidy home and that is okay.  A home is not tidy because a person is messy or doesn't know how to organize, it's from a lack of two main habits.

1. You haven't mastered the habit of throwing/giving things away... mail, papers, unused/unwanted items [this is how clutter starts and grows] 
2. You haven't mastered the habit of putting things away [I'm still working on this especially in the laundry department].

 I didn't realize the importance of habits until I stopped having to deal with cleaning out the crazy sticky mess in my purse every few months [thank you Marie for your method].  All my items have a home in the entryway closet.  I choose a purse or bag [left hangy thing], load, grab my shoes [right hangy thing] and leave the house.  As soon as I walk in the house, I put my shoes away, put my keys on the hook, put bag and wallet away [habit number 2] and throw away receipts or junk [habit number 1].  Less than five minutes and ta-da no losing things, no clutter, no mess.  It was a habit worth mastering.

The home may not be perfect or beautifully decorated, but behind every tidy home is an owner who has built this foundation.

REFLECTION
1.  Does every item in your house have a "home"?
2.  Do you need to purge and expand? 
3.  Do you have the two good habits of throwing and putting away?

Think about these questions and let's dig right into taking some action!

Click on the image below to see all the posts related to Operation Organization.
Operation Organization

Hooray for a getting organized! 
  

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Operation Organization: Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: I did not get my college degree in Organizational Studies [hehe] 

I am a regular person who loves organizing.  In NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM is my house perfect or even close to it.  It is no where as organized as I would like it to be.   

I have kids, a husband, friends, a life.   Life is messy and life happens.  I try to give our home space to get a little crazy sometimes.   I know there is no perfect way to organize or perfect system because life is always changing.  We are always moving and growing.  Organizing is a never ending battle that I have come to embrace and am learning to enjoy.  

My desire is to glorify God in the simplest of tasks such as maintaining the home [1 Corinthians 10:31] and to be a good steward of what he has blessed my family with.  Operation Organization is an opportunity to learn and share with one another ways to make life a little easier, a little less cluttered, a little less chaotic.  My hope is we can support one another in creating the home and environment we envision for our loved ones. 

 I hope you join me as I chronicle my journey with getting tidy.  

Jump ahead by clicking the image below and take a look at some organizing ideas I've shared over the years.  
Operation Organization
Hooray for a getting organized! 
  

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year Gift

Capturing moments is a passion that the kids have picked up on.  They love stealing my phone to take pictures and look back on old ones.  Anyone else have the same problem?  With the little lady getting older I thought it would be fun to look at 2017 through her eyes.  SOOO I put together a photo inspired New Year gift.

This little combo will give her an opportunity to be creative and store these special memories in a book that she can cherish for years to come. 

I wrapped up the Polaroid camera my sister gave her this summer, fun film and this awesome photo book.

The book perfectly fits the mini Polaroid films and you can keep it open to display the images.

After a few flashes we developed the first memories of 2017.  An ice cream trip is the perfect way to ring in the New Year!

I have to admit I love this gift as much as she does because our family can all be part of it.  I’ve already ordered the next set of film for our next special occasion.  If you have a special someone with a Polaroid camera this is a great gift and keepsake.

Hooray for a New Year! 
  

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Mommy FAIL

FAIL.  

This was a craft I had hoped to share, but it crumbled.  Literally hehehe.  I overheated the chocolate and underestimated the kids patience.  It ended up a chalky mess. 

As a recovered perfectionist this time of year can tempt me with feelings of pressure and inadequacy.  Pinterest is exploding the latest holiday decor, crafts, recipes.  Have you seen the Christmas trees on there?!  It all looks perfect and delicious.  Not to mention non of their kids have sticky fingers and are perfectly posed. 

I use want to have it all and do it all beautifully.  I use want to be everything!  Why not, aren't there 65 hours in the day?!  The reality is I can't be all and do all. 

 We all can't sew elaborate costumes and dresses like Designer Dad, cook five star meals like Giada, bake like Ree Drummond, decorate our homes like Joanna Gains [in my dreams],  craft like Martha Stewart... but that's OKAY!
 This is to you who feels like you don't measure up to that picture perfect mom you have envisioned but doesn't exist. Whether you admit it or not you probably are great at one of these skills.  Let's believe the words we tell our kids; we are all good at different things and we show it in different ways.  BUT aside from your special skill, you have something even more valuable.  YUP, you do and no one can do it like you!  You have a special kind of LOVE that only you can give to your family, friends, and your community. 

All your kids and family need is YOUR love.  All you need is love.  All you need is love love love love.  [hehehee]  Your words of encouragement, acts of service, physical touch, and TIME.  

Before I get swept away in the holiday madness I'm going to remind myself.... No pressure to be perfect.  No inadequacy when what I plan fails.  Love first and all the crafty extras will be the cherry on top. 

Crazy perfectionist mama out there, I want you to remember that YOU are more than enough.  YOU are talented and gifted.  YOU can love like no one else's can and love is all you need. 

Hooray for the holiday season! 
  

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